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Weak housing market cuts CSR profit

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AAP

2012-11-14

Building products maker CSR's first-half profit has fallen 50 per cent because of a weak housing market, which it says is set to remain challenging.

CSR's net profit in the six months to September 30 of $17.5 million was down from $34.9 million in the previous corresponding period.

The result includes $2.9 million in costs from the restructure of its building products business and its aluminium joint venture.

"The key external drivers that impact CSR's profitability were all materially worse this period, driven primarily by weakening global economic conditions and the flow-on effect to aluminium prices as well as local construction activity," managing director Rob Sindel said in a statement on Wednesday.

The company confirmed analysts' expectations of a full-year profit in the range of $35 million and $45 million.

That would be down from $76.3 million in the year to March 31, 2012.

Beyond the full year, there were signs of a recovery in housing construction, with finance approvals increasing for eight consecutive months, CSR said.

Any recovery was expected to be modest in its initial phases, while consumer and investor confidence returned, it said.

"However, a combination of falling interest rates and improved state government stimulus programs in New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia should enable a moderate recovery in residential activity in the next financial year," the company said.

CSR declared an interim, unfranked dividend of three cents per share.